Window display at Galeries Lafayette, Paris

Outdoor installation at Ion Mall, Singapore

Window displays have long been my guilt-free indulgence of choice, and I usually get a (cheap!) thrill just looking at imaginative windows and store decor when traveling abroad.  My favorite ones are those that almost look like elaborate still-life settings or installation pieces–total visual eye candy!  I remember when Sari-sari store first opened in Manila, they always had the most interesting window and store displays, some of them taken from installation art found around the UP College of Fine Arts where I was studying then (I heard they used to hire students to create their window displays).

Today we had the first briefing for the judging of the Ayala Malls Merchant Rewards visual merchandising & Christmas decor competition, and I’m looking forward to seeing the different displays that each store that we visit will have.  Visual merchandising is a really important aspect of a store’s design because it’s the first thing that catches a potential customer’s eye and hopefully draws them into a store and maybe even keeps them there longer.

More than just an afterthought, local stores should seriously invest in their visual merchandising displays and holiday decorations, and consider hiring a designer (or even a fine arts or design student) to create displays that are both visually appealing and that communicate the values of the store’s brand as well.  Designing a total experience for a customer requires paying attention to the little details–from the store window, to the displays of the merchandise, to the staff’s uniforms–that contribute to the bigger picture, and to a much better shopping experience.

Here’s to happier window shopping for us all! 🙂

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